This paper presents a rigorous evaluation of a novel, distributed chemical plume tracing algorithm. The algorithm is a combination of the best aspects of the two most popular predecessors for this task. Furthermore, it is based on solid, formal principles from the field of fluid mechanics. The algorithm is applied by a network of mobile sensing agents (e.g., robots or micro-air vehicles) that sense the ambient fluid velocity and chemical concentration, and calculate derivatives. The algorithm drives the robotic network to the source of the toxic plume, where measures can be taken to disable the source emitter. This work is part of a much larger effort in research and development of a physics-based approach to developing networks of mobile sensing agents for monitoring, tracking, reporting and responding to hazardous conditions.